According to the expert, the deadline for the full application and implementation of the salary harmonization program is January 2020.
The expert said the new measure discourages the general allowance system and payroll piling through the now automated system. He said though the process is not 100 % completed, but as it stands, it makes it difficult for any ministry or agency to add any employee without going through the rightful recruitment system.
He made the disclosure on Monday, December 9, 2019 at a strategic media session on the state of the Liberian economy, which was attended by senior media managers.
It can be recalled that sometimes ago, the Minister of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning(MFDP), Samuel Tweah, admitted that the Executive had begun implementing the salary harmonization exercise in order to reduce the government’s wage bill.
According to Minister Tweah, through the measure, the salaries of 9,000 civil servants, who were “overpaid” , were being cut, while 15,000 civil servants experience an increase in their salary. In addition, he said 55,000 government workers’ pay remains constant.
He said: “Fifty Thousand civil servants are not affected by this harmonization, 15,000 of those almost are going up and 9,000 are coming down who were paid high. Absolutely teachers are not affected here. Security people are benefitting. Doctors are benefitting. The 54th Legislature, along with the President raised doctors’ salary.”
The Finance & Development Planning Minister made the assertions before the plenary of the House of Representatives. Plenary is the highest decision making body of the House of Representatives.
He had been invited by the august body to clarify whether civil servants’ wages were being cut and whether the Executive, through the MFDP was now implementing the salary harmonization measure.
Under the advice of the International Monetary Fund, the government embarked on a wide range of macroeconomic reforms affecting both monetary and fiscal policies.
The harmonization of the wage bill is one of the measures that is being introduced by the George MannehWeah-led administration. Under this measure, civil servants are expected to receive one salary and the issue of discretionary allowances will be cancelled.
Additionally, the government said its harmonization process is expected to increase civil servants’ salaries of the health and security sectors who had been grossly underpaid.
There were tense negotiations between the Executive and the Legislature for the full implementation of the measure.
Meanwhile, the MFDP Minister affirmed that the wage bill harmonization was being implemented but civil servants in the security, education and health sectors were being protected.
He revealed that the government had decided to offer a single salary to civil servants in both Liberian dollars (35 percent) and United States dollars (65 percent).
He said civil servants who were complaining that their salaries were being slashed are those that had only received 35 percent of their money in their Liberian dollars accounts, and their balance 65 percent were being withheld because they were yet to open United States dollar accounts.
Upon the establishment of the US dollars accounts, Minister Tweah added that their money would have been disbursed.